Georgian, Turkish and Azerbaijani foreign ministers have signed a new, 2020-2022 action plan for sectoral cooperation during the 8th meeting of the trilateral format held in Tbilisi.
8th Trilateral Meeting of Azerbaijani, Georgia and Turkey Foreign Ministers
By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, December 25
The Foreign Ministers of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey have made joint statements at the State Ceremonies Palace in Tbilisi.
According to Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, the document sets out concrete actions and plans of common interests of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey in all areas, as well as mechanisms for trilateral cooperation.
Zalkaliani has stated that the meeting was successful and focused on regional transport and energy projects.
He stated that all three countries are ready to continue coordination for full-fledged implementation of a trilateral energy corridor.
Zalkaliani said that Georgia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, taking their geopolitical location and transport potential into account, give high importance to the strengthening of cooperation for the undisturbed functioning of the Europe-Asia connecting corridor.
During the meeting, special attention was paid to the discussion on joint regional transport-energy projects. The importance of the implementation of the Trans-Caspian pipeline project and the role of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey in the transport of energy from the Caspian region to Europe and in ensuring Europe's energy security. Emphasis was placed on the already successful Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum energy projects. The ministers reaffirmed their readiness to continue coordinating the full realization of the Southern Energy Corridor. The importance of completing Phase 2 of the Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project was also highlighted.
The meeting highlighted the special role of the three countries in rebuilding the historic Silk Road, which will further deepen cooperation between the two countries and strengthen contacts between people. At the same time, a joint approach has been identified to promote cooperation between business circles, hold trilateral business forums, and stimulate SMEs.
Special attention was paid to the challenges and security issues in the region.
"Undoubtedly, the existing conflicts pose a serious threat to peace, international stability and security, and also impede economic development," said Zalkaliani. However, it was noted that these conflicts and disputes should be resolved peacefully following the principles of international law and concerning sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders.
According to the Georgian Foreign Minister, the sides have taken a joint approach to promote cooperation between business circles, hold trilateral business forums, and activate small and medium-sized businesses.
Azerbaijani and Turkish FMs spoke about the importance of joint projects for local and international interests.
Azerbaijani FM Elmar Mammadyarov also touched upon conflicts and stated that Georgia and Azerbaijan share the same problems in terms of unresolved conflicts and stated that both countries have chosen to adhere to the international law in this regard.
According to Georgian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Zurab Pataridze, the meetings were also held in a bilateral format, underlining the issue of Georgia-Azerbaijan cooperation.